Foggy Sunset

Foggy Sunset
Photo by Aisling Doonan

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Silver Reed SR 180 Manual Typewriter

I have been idly searching ebay for the past month in search of a working manual typewriter.  I wasn't unduly fussed with the brand or age, just that the machine would be in sound working order and I would be able to buy ribbons for it. 


There are plenty to be had if you are patient enough to go through all the listings, but my problem was that the bulk of them were in the UK, Germany or the US.  This meant very hefty postage charges that I was unwilling to part with.


Anyway, everyone knows that the best way to pick one up is in a second hand shop or a car boot sale.  Second hand shops local to me are picked clean and I'm way too lazy to get up early on a Sunday morning to trawl the car boots without a definite reward!

Still I lucked out when I took a notion to visit a local antique/bric a brack shop.  I found a dusty and  rusty sad looking machine under the table and hunkered down to retrieve it.  It weighed a tonne and it looked as if some parts were missing.  I brought it up to the counter and the owner said she had a cleaner and newer one hidden under a bureau.  When she pulled out the black case and opened it my heart nearly skipped, a baby blue typewriter!  


It looked clean and intact and I already knew where I could get replacement ribbon so I was ecstatic!  Barely able to contain the mini squeals of joy I tapped away at the keys to make sure they weren't stuck.  I just knew I was going to leave the shop with it!


So I did!  I brought it home and gave my husband a fearsome headache thrashing away at the keys and the dry ribbon making words, letters, numbers, anything just to make that wonderful tap tap tap noise.  

It surprises me how neat and tidy this little machine it, it is 11" x 4" x 12" in it's black hard case and only weighs a few kilo's.  It feels so refreshing to lift it onto the table, feed in the paper and begin, instead of waiting for something to power up and fiddling with leads, making sure something is charged.  It also gets rid of one other irritating thing - I don't have to go and pull out the printer, plug it in, attach the connection to the laptop and wait for it to whirr into action.  It's such a relief to have something that doesn't rely on electricity!  

My mother when I told her what I had bought looked at me in what looked like thinly veiled contempt, said "but why do you want one, is your laptop broken".

I had to laugh, I don't equate the two at all.  I love my typewriter for itself.  I love that if I want to know how to spell something correctly I have to look it up in a BOOK (you  know, those doorstops made of paper?) that I am more likely to remember the spelling as I took the trouble and time to acquaint myself with it.  I love that I have to think about the words I am putting down, in a sentence, as there is no handy delete button.  It is making my thoughts appear on the page in a nice orderly fashion that isn't rushed and edited to within an inch of it's life.  I'm hoping that by slowing down and thinking more before typing, that what I put down is in its first edition, the best that it can be.  I'm anxious to begin, waiting for my new clean fresh ribbon, to begin this happy little journey.

Does anyone else have a manual typewriter?

15 comments:

  1. A friend of my husband's used a manual typewriter until his death. I no longer have one, but I tend to go with a fountain pen these days, unless something needs to go electronically. They're quieter than typewriters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, yes fountain pens are certainly quieter than typewriters, but I find the noise of the keys is what appeals to me. I like to SOUND industrious :D I also have a small collection of fountain pens but these are used for letters & journals mostly, I love writing with a good pen :)

      Delete
  2. Tengo la misma en color gris, exactamente el mismo modelo, aun me funciona la cinta, este en perfectas condiciones. Saludos!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have this exact model, as my grandmother brought it down from her loft, shrugged and said she didn't want it any more. I actually squealed when she asked if I wanted it and said I could have it! I love old things, especially typewriters, so I've ordered a new fresh ribbon for it! The only problem is I may not know how to put the ribbon on once it arrives! Oh well, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations!!! Is there a ribbon in it already? if so just put in the new one the same way as you take the old one out. Otherwise, it's not too tricky, lift off the cover, the ribbon feed moves from right to left so put the full spool on the right, then thread the ribbon through the silver thingummyjig (!) and voila! If you need any help when you get it just shout :)

      Delete
  4. Can you help please, we have the same typewriter but can't get the pud off to change the ribbon, can you help please?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you mean the top casing of the typewriter or the ribbon spools? They may need a little 'wiggling' to work free, but the top casing will come off smoothly with a small pull (there are silicone feet, they don't click in or anything, so you just need to pull a little to work it free) and the spool clicks on and off so a gentle tug should do it. Just check as far as you can to make sure it's not sticking because grit/dust or if there's something in the way.

      Delete
  5. Dear Rubysasha

    hi i am from India i have same piece with me but i don't know how to type numeric one on this. there is no key for numeric 1 pl help me in this

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi! I have this EXACT same typewriter. At the moment I'm struggling to find the right ribbon for it. Do you know which ones are compatible?? Please please let me know on karysmcewen(at)gmail(dot)com THANK YOU!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi! I have this EXACT same typewriter. At the moment I'm struggling to find the right ribbon for it. Do you know which ones are compatible?? Please please let me know on karysmcewen(at)gmail(dot)com THANK YOU!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kary, I just looked up the make and model on ebay and got a list like this -
      http://www.ebay.ie/sch/i.html?_sacat=0&_from=R40&_nkw=silver+reed+sr+180+typewriter+ribbon&rt=nc
      You should be able to find something there and they are easy to put in yourself! Hope this helps :)

      Delete
    2. I also have it and also in the search for the compatible ribbons :S

      Delete
  8. Hi, I came upon your comments looking for information about changing the ribbon on my SR180. It has been in the attic, unused for decades, until my grandchildren heard about it.

    It works although the thirty year old ribbon is a bit dry!

    Now I have a new ribbon, bought easily through Amazon, and it's all set to have some action, at least for a couple of weeks until the novelty wears off.

    Sent from my wonderful tablet - couldn't have been imagined when I bought the typewriter.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi, I came upon your comments looking for information about changing the ribbon on my SR180. It has been in the attic, unused for decades, until my grandchildren heard about it.

    It works although the thirty year old ribbon is a bit dry!

    Now I have a new ribbon, bought easily through Amazon, and it's all set to have some action, at least for a couple of weeks until the novelty wears off.

    Sent from my wonderful tablet - couldn't have been imagined when I bought the typewriter.

    ReplyDelete
  10. So glad to read how much you love this typewriter. I've just bought the same model on eBay for a bargain price and I'm really looking forward to it's arrival so I can get tapping away.

    ReplyDelete